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Teen depression: The hidden health crisis affecting millions

(WSYX/WTTE)

Teen depression is a hidden mental health crisis, but it's one that most parents probably never even consider.

According to the CDC, one in five kids has been diagnosed with some form of a mental or emotional disorder. ABC 6 spoke with medical professionals about the warning signs parents need to be looking out for. In some instances, experts say those clues could be a lifesaver.

Teyah McKenzie knows the pain all too well. The loneliness, the feelings of deep sadness and emptiness inside.

"I'd say it definitely started in middle school for sure. I'd say like toward 6th grade, going into 7th grade. Like mentally within myself, I was going through a lot," said McKenzie.

McKenzie told ABC 6 that for years she dealt with depression and thoughts of taking her own life.

"It was like a veil would settle over me and I'd be like sad for days. Sometimes, I would get really down and I would sit and like actually plan out how I could complete suicide and things like that. I even tried once when I was younger, tried to take a whole bunch of pills and I threw them up," said McKenzie.

That suicide attempt was in the 8th grade.

"After I was sitting there after I had taken them, I was like, what if my mom finds me like this?" McKenzie told ABC 6.

McKinzie is certainly not alone. In fact, she had a friend who committed suicide and another who tried.

Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 10 and 24 years old. The numbers staggering, nationwide around 15 million young people struggling with mental illness.

Thursday at 11, we take a closer look at what adults need to look out for in young people, and the help available.

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